The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-25-15

Posted on April 26th, 2015 at 11:30 am by

Who Needs to “Stop the Hate”?

Ever-alert Vigil Supporter S draws our attention to a Washington Post article: “‘Killing Jews is Worship’ posters will soon appear on NYC subways and buses”, which describes the successful attempt by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) in having their posters attached to New York City subways and buses. The poster, pictured below, reads in part

ISLAMIC JEW HATRED
IT’S IN THE KORAN
STOP THE HATE

hate
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/hate.jpg

Where’s the hate? Where does this claim originate? Does the Quran actually say “We Hate Jews”? We at JWPF just plain don’t know, but would be quite surprised to find it in the Muslims’ holy book.

We are NOT surprised, however, to find the shoe plainly on the other foot. Enter the high priest of Holocaustianity Elie Wiesel, who unrepentantly offered his fellow tribesmen some succinct advice:

Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate—healthy, virile hate—for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. [source: Commentary]

Now if that isn’t “hate speech”, then we don’t know what is. True, US law does not define a crime of “hate speech”, perhaps because if we ever did come up with a working definition, Mr. Wiesel could be prosecuted. And if that were to occur, we envision lunches with famed Jewish attorney Alan Dershowitz, where the two could discuss Elie’s charges while enjoying some hamantaschen. For the uninitiated, this baked good is the Jewish Purim ritual of eating the body parts (in this case, the ear of Haman) of their enemies.

Jews know hatred, and they also know manipulation. How to conceal the obvious hatred their religion and culture promote, while in true Orwellian fashion accuse others of what they do best.

April 18: Seven vigilers
April 25: Eight vigilers
No Holes, No Holocaust
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 04-11-15

Posted on April 13th, 2015 at 10:59 am by

With Apologies to Pauline Esther Friedman (aka Abigail van Buren)

From JWPF’s “Letters” bin, we uncovered a concerned note from “Confused in Ann Arbor” and hereby share its contents and response from an authority on Jewish identity politics, Gilad Atzmon:

Dear Gilad,

I attended a presentation by Josh Ruebner – Policy Director for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation – in Ann Arbor on March 28th. He took questions from the audience and I asked three: Since he mentioned that Zionists had “no right in international law to create a Jewish state”, was he willing to now admit that Israel had no right to exist as a Jewish state? His answer rubber-banded him back to his previous position: that no state has a “right” to exist, that organizing bodies like the UN “recognizes” states but grants them no rights. Seems to me, dear Gilad, that he dodged the essence of the question and those four pesky words “as a Jewish state”. Second question: Does his organization oppose Israel’s occupation to preserve or dismantle a Jewish state? Answer: the US Campaign takes no position on one state v. two state. And three: since the Jewish community clearly supports the Jewish state, when will his organization take on the Jews as contributors – financially and emotionally – as opponents in this struggle? Answer: Josh doesn’t think the Jewish community is monolithic in their support and will not challenge them for their support.

No, the Jewish community is not monolithic, but the range, in my opinion, is from right Zionist to left Zionists, you know, a kinder and gentler Jewish supremacist state. In fact, dear Gilad, Mr. Ruebner never utters the phrase “Jewish supremacism”, nor “Jewish Power”, while he and other Jewish leaders in the peace movement grab more and more control, thereby exercising the exact power they seemingly refuse to discuss. Can you help me resolve these issues? I’d really like to have a more favorable opinion of Josh.

Thank you,
Confused in Ann Arbor

This letter was answered immediately:

Dear Confused in Ann Arbor,

You are indeed confused for a reason. Monitoring Jewish progressive duplicity for more than a decade has left me with a clear impression that integrity, factuality and reason are foreign to the Jewish Left political discourse.

Josh Ruebner like Max Blumenthal, JVP, Mondoweiss and other Jewish left operators’ mission is simple – they attempt to convey an image of Jewish ethical thinking. The Palestinians and their plight have an instrumental role. They are there to affirm Jewish goodness. This may explain why Jewish solidarity didn’t liberate Palestine. It was there to conceal the Jewishness of Jewish State.

(signed) Gilad Atzmon

Comments?

April 4: Eight vigilers
April 11: Nine vigilers
Remembering Deir Yassin
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

Report on Beth Israel vigil 03-28-15

Posted on April 4th, 2015 at 3:52 pm by

Jews Teach SAFE a Lesson; Will They Learn?

SAFE (Students Allied for Freedom and Equality) is a Palestine solidarity organization at the University of Michigan, and proposed a Divestment resolution before the Central Student Government in 2014 and were soundly defeated (25-9). This year SAFE returned to the CSG, hat in hand with a “revamped” resolution, and padded their ranks with Jewish false prophets who led them, once again, down the path to failure (25-15). Was it intended to fail? Let’s look.

An article appeared in the Michigan Daily a week before the vote, and featured statements by two Jews and an Asian woman, but none from any Palestinians. One Jew, Benjamin Gottschalk, assured his audience “supporting this organization is not anti-Semitic because it does not target the Jewish people,” If critical-thinking SAFE members were listening, Gottschalk was telling them it’s not JEWS who were committing the crimes against Palestinians, not a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons with Jewish religious symbols on them. Heaven forbid any reflection on his Jewish people for these crimes. And SAFE apparently bought this lie.

Snap out of it, SAFE! As Henry Gondorff says in The Sting (1975), “that’s what you get for playing with your head up your ass.” Your lesson is clear:

One, allowing Jewish activists to call the shots will not win the day, because they absolutely refuse to address the core issues, specifically Israel’s claims to legitimacy, Jewish Supremacism in Palestine (and elsewhere), Jewish Power in general, and they will apparently NEVER hold their own community accountable for the racism that is created and nurtured there. Josh Ruebner, the Jewish Policy Director for the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation was in town last weekend and declined our invitation (repeated after signature) to stand vigil with us. Josh joins the list of Jews Who Will Not Stand with JWPF at the #37 slot, and continues to refuse to hold his own community accountable while writing books critical of non-Jews (Barack Obama) and button-holing non-Jewish performers like Lauryn Hill to boycott Israel, rather than shouldering the burden to target Jews as the backbone of Israel’s apartheid here and in Palestine. No wonder Jews have such a tarnished image.

Two. take heed to the words of Malcolm X, who knew that blacks and whites holding hands and singing” Kumbayah” wouldn’t address the issues of white racism in America. To paraphrase Malcolm, I know that every time Jews join a Palestinian organization, you watch, pretty soon the Palestinians will be leaning on the Jews to support it, and before you know it a Palestinian may be up front with a title, but the Jews, because of their money and manipulation, are the real controllers. (see Autobiography of Malcolm X, p. 384)

Three, take back YOUR liberation movement. Reject “solidarity”; it’s a meaningless term. Palestine can live only if Israel dies. That goal will gain you enemies in the near future (as your Jewish pseudo-friends leave you), but the true friends you make by dealing straight up with these issues will remain long after the memory of false friends recede.

Four, recognize that as long as wolves in sheep’s clothing like JVP leader Barbara Harvey and Josh Ruebner fail to clearly differentiate themselves those Jews openly supportive of a Jewish state, wolves in wolf’s clothing like UM Professor Victor Lieberman will continue to mop the floor with these liberals and yourselves with his lies. “Israel has offered to recognize Arab sovereignty on five occasions,” Lieberman said last Tuesday. “If any of those offers had been accepted, there would be no refugees.”

End of lesson.

Comments?

March 7, Four vigilers
March 14, Five vigilers
March 21, Five vigilers
March 28, Four vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
#

Invitation to Josh Ruebner

Dear Josh,

As a representative of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, please allow me to accept your invitation to join you March 28th at the Friends Meeting House in Ann Arbor at 4 PM.

Allow me also to return the favor by inviting you to join us in our street protest of the crimes of the state of Israel (and its existence), which we do every Saturday morning in front of Beth Israel Congregation, 2000 Washtenaw Avenue, about a half mile from the Friends Meeting House.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the racism evinced by the Jewish state is created and nurtured within the Jewish community, and the congregants at Beth Israel are no exception: speaking for all its members, Rabbi Dobrusin “affirms without any hesitation or equivocation the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state”. This racism is exhibited clearly in Max Blumenthal’s recent book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.

In addition, the Rabbi takes innocent Jewish children on trips to Israel and poses them with armed Israeli soldiers on military vehicles, as part of their indoctrination to support the Jewish state. Rabbi Dobrusin is on record as supporting torture, flies the Israeli flag in Beth Israel’s sanctuary and weekly utters a “Prayer for the State of Israel.”

Please also join us for a late breakfast at a nearby restaurant, as we debrief from our morning’s activities. Our vigils begin at 9:30 AM and end at 10:45 AM. They are peaceful and legal.

We share many close friends with three groups sponsoring your talk: IDAP, UUJME and PIAG. I’m sure we’ll have lots to talk about. If you need transportation, please let us know.

Best wishes,

Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-28-15

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 at 5:40 pm by

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

wizard-of-oz-curtain

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/wizard-of-oz-curtain.jpg

A remark made by Barbara Harvey at her BDS presentation two weeks ago still sticks in our collective craw: in response to a question, she said “What is being criticized [by the BDS movement] is not a people”. What is being criticized, she clarified, is “[Israeli] state official policy.”

This brought to our minds the observation by Paul Eisen, who wonders why Jews are seemingly shielded from responsibility for the crimes committed on behalf of a Jewish state by Jewish soldiers using weapons adorned with Jewish religious symbols and with the full support and complicity of every mainstream Jewish organization. Ref: Jewish Power.

Cleary we have a tug of war here: Ms. Harvey is warning people not to peer behind the curtain of Jews acting collectively, and Mr. Eisen is calling the question. Since Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends has identified local Jews as a collective part of the problem and hold our protests at a Jewish House of WARship, we clearly see that Mr. Eisen has opened a can of worms that Ms. Harvey would like immediately and permanently closed.

Are Jews to be held responsible for their support of the crimes of the Jewish state? Enter Jewish peace groups: Jewish Voice for Peace (Ms. Harvey is a local leader), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Israeli Coalition Against House Demolition, Jews for a Free Palestine, Code Pink, etc. They contrast themselves from their co-tribalist pro-Israel organizations like AIPAC, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federations, but both sides clearly indicate a preference for the continued existence of a Jewish state, and certainly side with Ms. Harvey’s answer, with implication: Say what you will about the state of Israel, but don’t you EVER hold Jews accountable for their part in supporting that state.

This sounds a little suspicious to we who hold vigils on Saturday mornings. Who supports the Jewish state more than “the Jews”? Are we allowed to say that? To think it? Does JVP and the BDS movement wish to reduce violence in Palestine, while maintaining Jewish control over the discourse? Is that their main function? Are they the man behind the curtain and we little Toto?

Heavens to Murgatroyd! What shall we do if Jews are somehow responsible for their support of crimes committed by the Jewish state? Will the world cease to exist? Will it draw attention to “anti-semitic” attitudes which just may have roots in collective Jewish behavior? Is learning from past history somehow a key to understanding current anti-Jewish behavior? Can we use this history to chart a different course for Jews or will we be content to wait for the “peasant’s axe” to fall once more?

Hiding behind the curtain solves nothing.

JWPF members Visit Berrien County Courthouse (again)

Two members of JWPF traveled to Benton Harbor to hear Judge Sterling Schrock dismiss at least four of the five legal considerations before him in the case of our friend Reverend Edward Pinkney. Ed has been incarcerated at the Marquette Branch Prison under the Michigan Department of Corrections, 500 miles away from friends and family for the past two months. He appeared well and was obviously moved by the attendance at this legal proceeding. About 60 supporters from across the state showed up for Ed. Mark Fancher of the Michigan ACLU delivered their amicus brief in support of allowing Ed free on bond. Request was denied by Judge Shrock.

What we heard: Pinkney attorney Tat Parish asked prosecutor Mike Sepic to state briefly the direct evidence which linked Ed to the changed dates on some recall petitions, and Sepic refused, saying that the jury already decided, and when you take motive into account with the circumstantial evidence, that “tells us who did this”. Local newspaper article here.

Comments?

Three vigilers, 4 degrees
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
End Jewish Supremacism

Report on Beth Israel vigil 02-21-15

Posted on February 22nd, 2015 at 4:41 pm by

Are Jews Manipulating the BDS Movement?

Three members of JWPF attended a presentation by Barbara Harvey, a Jewish leader of Jewish Voice for Peace and ostensible supporter of the BDS movement, to students at Eastern Michigan University at the request of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Barbara is a good speaker and focused her talk on the “occupation” of Palestine and was specific that Palestine meant the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. She said that the goal of the BDS movement was to continue “until [Israel] ends the occupation”. It wasn’t until this writer reminded her that the real goal of the BDS movement is a three-pronged demand of which ending the military occupation is only one-third, did she confess yes, that the demands of the BDS movement included (a) equal rights for Palestinians living within the Green Line and (b) the implementation of the Right of Return for millions of Palestinians exiled by the Jewish state from their homeland.

Then she talked about a “negotiated” settlement to the refugee question, as if rights are negotiable, yet alone enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She noted – as did the whistling-past-the-graveyard Professor Cary Nelson – that Israel “isn’t going anywhere”, and we wonder again why the compulsion for Jewish leaders to remind their audience of this assumption. It is likely that “Israel” did not exist when Ms. Harvey was born, yet in 66 years of its existence she’s willing to speculate – using terms meant to convey fact – that this state, non-existent in 1947, will last forever. Can someone provide us the definition of “chutzpah?”

Since her presentation was informal, I brought up the statement made by Rebecca Wilkommerson (executive director of JVP) that “The occupation, with US military and financial support is the root cause” of the violence in Palestine. I tried to ask her if a better explanation wasn’t “The root cause of the conflict in Palestine-Israel is the creation and maintenance by force of a Jewish state in a territory with a non-Jewish majority?” She cut me off in mid-sentence, however, claiming she wanted to continue her report on the “successes” of the BDS movement.

One man asked whether the implementation of all three prongs of the BDS demands wouldn’t lead to the “unwinding” of the Jewish state, and her response was emotional: “The BDS goal is not to ‘destroy’ Israel”. I spoke up and reminded her that the questioner used the word “unwind” and not “destroy”, but it appears very telling that Jewish speakers hear “destruction” when it is not uttered. Perhaps Gilad Atzmon is right when he suggests that Jews experience a false PTSD (Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder: “the stress is the outcome of a phantasmic event, an imaginary episode set in the future; an event that has never taken place.”), yet remain leaders in the “liberation” movement they have renamed “solidarity”. Now what the heck does that mean?

Barbara listed some companies that have been financially affected by the BDS movement: Elbit, Caterpillar, Veolia and Motorola. She focused on Soda Stream and reported its imminent closing of its West Bank facility and relocation within Green Line Israel. I asked if the BDS movement would continue to boycott Soda Stream and she answered that some groups would continue and others would not. Now, wait a minute! That doesn’t sound like the original BDS call to us. Let’s quote the source, www.bdsmovement.net

In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.

According to Ms. Harvey, this suggests that companies that crawl back into their hole of the Jewish state within the Green Line deserve an unrecognized sanctuary from the BDS movement that she is falsely representing. The question is open for activists: Do we tolerate this re-write of the movement’s goals or call out Jewish leaders for what appears to be the hidden agenda of protecting Jews and the Jewish state?

Does Barbara support Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state? Two of us stayed after to ask this question and to her credit she replied in the negative. But who, outside of readers of this report, knows this? We asked if this was the position of JVP, and she responded that she didn’t think so. Sounds confusing, yes? Maybe it’s supposed to be. Diligent readers of these reports can remember Anna Baltzer, National Organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, admitting to a small audience in the basement of a local church that she, too didn’t support this claim. But try to find Anna’s or Barbara’s public refutation of Israel’s “right” to exist as a Jewish state.

There are serious problems with a movement to liberate a country led by members of the same ethnic/religious group that is ethnically cleansing that country. We are reminded that Malcolm X refused to allow sympathetic white voices to lead the movement for black liberation in the US. Why do complacent non-Jews extol and honor the Jewish voice when it appears pregnant with hidden agendas?

Comments?

Feb 7: Four vigilers
Feb 14: Four vigilers
Feb 21: Five vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
“It’s the Jews, Stupid!”

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-31-15

Posted on February 6th, 2015 at 1:55 pm by

Why say “Jewish” when you can say “White” (and dodge responsibility)?

Pictured below is Anna Baltzer, peace activist and National Organizer with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, She’s holding a sign reading “Challenge White Supremacy”. Sounds like a reasonable claim, until you visit her own web page and find out Anna is Jewish, and in the first paragraph reminds her visitors of “the type of persecution that had plagued families like mine throughout history”.

Two things of note here: First, by informing visitors that she’s Jewish, she utilizes basic Jewish Power (“as a Jew …”) without identifying, nor challenging, that power. Second: she lays the “Jews as eternal, innocent victim” card right on the table before the betting has even begun.

Baltzer
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hersko/Photos/Baltzer.jpg

So why are Jewish activists (Anna is certainly not alone, and this report is not intended attack her personally) claiming that we must fight “white supremacy” when the state they are purportedly criticizing is a “Jewish” state? Why does the Jewish Anna feel it proper to challenge white supremacy when it is the Jewish supremacists in her own community that openly and actively support the supremacy of the Jewish State?

Anna must certainly know that Theodore Herzl wrote “Der Judenstaat”, and not “Der Weißenstaat”. She must know that Israel’s own Declaration of Statehood proclaims “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.” She must be aware that white Americans cannot make Aliyah to the Jewish state unless they are Jewish. It wouldn’t make much sense for white non-Jews to attempt Aliyah, because IT IS NOT THE WHITE STATE. White Christians can be Zionists, but they – unlike Anna – can not be citizens of the Jewish state.

Listen to what Malcolm X said when addressing sympathetic whites who wanted to join his movement: “Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out there on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is – and that’s in their own home communities.”*

Malcolm might have counseled Anna, thus: “Where really sincere American Jews have got have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the Palestinian victims, but out there on the battle lines where Israel’s racism really is – and that’s in their own Jewish communities in the United States.” But Anna doesn’t do this. She and scores of other Jews in the peace movement have consistently avoided the responsibility of holding fellow Jews accountable for their support of the crimes of the Jewish state.

Eleven years ago, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends invited Anna to stand with us, and she refused, on two separate occasions. The last we looked there were at least seven synagogues in the St. Louis area, where Anna is located. Do any of these synagogues dispute Elliott Abrams’ observation, “Where is it possible to find a group of Jews who are committed to Israel, and whose children are likely to honor that commitment? The answer is, in a synagogue on the Sabbath”? Readers should inform us forthwith if any of these synagogues do not support Israel’s claimed right to exist as a Jewish state.

Maybe Anna is just trying to trick the St. Louis black community into believing that Jews share the same oppressed status as blacks, when American Jews like Anna experience extremely high rates of economic and educational success, and have disproportionate influence in public arenas such as banking, law, government, media and the arts, even in pro-Palestinian activism.

But whatever her reasons for carrying such a sign, she abandons her duty to challenge Jewish supremacy. She hides behind the mask of fighting the straw man called white supremacy. White supremacist South Africa was defeated three decades ago. It’s time that Jewish activists like Anna to set her sights on challenging the Jewish supremacism that surrounds her and work to peacefully dismantle the Jewish state.

Comments?

Four vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Free speech or selective speech?

* The Autobiography of Malcolm X, pp 383-384
(for an on-topic interview with Malcolm, click here)

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-24-15

Posted on January 27th, 2015 at 6:10 pm by

Winning

It’s no doubt that Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends is a small group. Our last report detailed how we are left out of Abe Foxman’s “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in the U.S.” Size must matter. But as a peace-with-justice group we accomplish a goal that no other group seems to do. We don’t “demand” anything. We’re not scrambling to cry “end the siege” every time the Jewish state viciously acts out, or any other topic du jour. We merely stand with a message that the world should not and cannot tolerate the existence of a militarized Jewish state on other people’s land. Oh, sure, we would terminate or move the vigils were Beth Israel to endorse the goals in the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions, but week in and week out, we’re out there – with noticeable support from passersby – stating the obvious: that the US can no longer tolerate its supposed “only friend in the Middle East.”

We remind the general public how our country has been taken over by a Lobby that seems to know no limits on what it can demand of our leaders. We call out the Jewish community for its support of a fanatical and cruel Jewish state. We use their turf as our turf.

And they don’t like it. JWPF has inverted the power pyramid by just appearing at the steps of Beth Israel Congregation and – while demanding nothing – expose some of the skeletons in the Jewish community’s closet. And as we demand nothing, the Congregation demands we leave. THEY want US to leave, recognizing who’s in the driver’s seat. Professor Victor Lieberman whistles past the graveyard when he advises us to take our protests to a political venue, ignoring the well-known and time-honored tradition of the synagogue using its own pulpit for political speech. He should listen to a sermon or two from Rabbi Rob Dobrusin or from Elliott Abrams.

The truth is winning and so are we. Armed only with the Constitution’s First Amendment and behaving in a 100% legal manner (some say we’re too old to run from the cops), we have become the ones whom the Congregation, the City, the Clergy, the faux peace groups like the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, beseech. They want us to go away, much like Jewish Zionists would like Palestinians to go away.

We’re not going. We like winning, and only hope that other peace-with-justice groups find ways to follow our example. The concept of winning has been absent from the peace community in this writer’s eyes. Many liberals eschew sports but that’s one place where the competitive juices are found. Often, as inspiration I’m reminded of a close friend and former defensive lineman for Michigan whose surgically repaired knees remind him of the tackles he made in the 1960’s for the sake of the team. Would he do it again? You betcha.

Winning: it’s what’s lacking. Let’s bring it back.

Comments?

January 17: Four vigilers
January 24: Four vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Je suis Dieudonne

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